2019 Chevrolet Silverado Unveiled, Drops 450 Pounds, Gains Straight-Six Diesel

The Chevrolet Silverado is one of the most important vehicles that General Motors makes so it comes as little surprise the company decided to unveil the truck at the North American International Auto Show.

Set to battle the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500, the 2019 Silverado eschews the conservative styling of its predecessor for a bolder design that helps the truck to truly stand out. The front end is fairly evolutionary but bigger changes occur further back as model adopts new bodywork which features gentle creases and strong character lines.

Eight different variants will be available including the new Silverado LT Trailboss. The off-road focused model builds on the Z71 package and includes a two-inch suspension lift, a locking rear differential, and skid plates. The truck also boasts Rancho shocks and 18-inch alloy wheels with Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires.

Another new addition is the Silverado RST which is based the LT variant and adds a “street-performance appearance” to the truck. Chevrolet says the model has LED lighting units and up to 22-inch alloy wheels.

While the exterior styling is a bit of a departure, the cabin should be instantly recognizable to owners of the previous-generation pickup. Chevrolet says the cabin was “strongly influenced by customer feedback” and features an additional three inches of rear-seat legroom in crew-cab variants. The truck also boasts new interior storage options including two 10-liter bins integrated in the second-row seatbacks and a 24-liter storage tray underneath the rear seats.

The Silverado is 1.6 inches (41 mm) longer than its predecessor and rides on a wheelbase that has grown by up to 3.9 inches (100 mm). Despite this, the truck’s weight has been cut by up to 450 pounds (204 kg) due to the use of lightweight materials such as aluminum. The latter material is used on the doors, hood, and tailgate and this helps the truck’s body weigh 88 pounds (40 kg) less than before.

The weight savings extends to the Silverado’s fully boxed steel frame which is also 88 pounds (40 kg) lighter despite boasting a 10 percent increase in torsional rigidity. Other weight savings come from the suspension which features forged-aluminum upper control arms and a live-axle rear suspension with carbon-composite second-stage springs on LT variants.

The 2019 Silverado will be available with six different engine and transmission combinations. Chevrolet was coy on specifics but confirmed choices will include a new 5.3- and 6.2-liter V8 as well as a 3.0-liter Duramax six-cylinder turbodiesel. During the press conference, GM executive vice president Mark Reuss said “I’m not going to go into the numbers today, but some of our competition have given numbers on their diesels, and let’s just say I’m confident that we’ll have the best performing diesel in this segment.” That is a clear shot at Ford which recently released its specifications for the diesel-powered F-150.

On the transmission side of the equation, GM confirmed the 3.0-liter diesel and 6.2-liter V8 petrol engine will come with an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission as well as a start/stop system. The V8s will also have a Dynamic Fuel Management system which can deactivate up to seven-cylinders to optimize fuel efficiency.

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